Sub- district hospital Bijbehara in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district continues to function from an unsafe building for the last seven years as officials claim that the new building will be completed in the next two to three months.
The structure was damaged during the severe floods of 2014. Soon after, a safety audit determined that the building was hazardous, and the plan for a replacement structure was approved.
According to the then audit report the inner walls of some blocks on the ground floor had cracks in the superstructure. The flooring has also sunken, and one storey building with GGI sheet roofing, within the premises of the main old building, has deviated around 6-7 inches from ground to the first floor.
Years later, the building was declared unsafe and the government approved the construction of a new building which was to be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 14.47 crore.
Official sources said that work on the new building was started four years ago but authorities have failed to complete the new building due to which SDH continues to function from unsafe building.
“Both patients and health workers are at risk because of the damaged building,” said a doctor, adding that they fear for their lives as there are cracks in walls and ceiling.
He said that as Kashmir is prone to earthquakes and the building can collapse anytime which can prove fatal to hundreds of people.
Patients as well as locals said that the government must speed up the work on the new building so that SDH can start functioning there and any untoward incident can be avoided.
“We request higher ups to look into the matter and complete the new building as soon as possible so that patients won’t suffer anymore,” they said.
An official of the health department said that due to the conditions post Aug 05, 2019 and Covid lockdown, “the project got delayed.”
“The work is going on in full swing and in the next two to three months a new building will be completed,” an official said. (KNO)